Nadal: We must not hide from reality, the fears are there


#Nadal: "We must not hide from reality, the fears are there"
Source: El Mundo
Photo Credit: Carlos Garcia Pozo

Away from the courts since Wimbledon, the last tournament he competed in, world number three Rafa Nadal is approaching a deadline in his recovery when he will return to competition and the fight for the number one ranking. "It's something that is being put on me I guess. Years ago I said that for me being number one in he world is not a goal."

"If things are going as well as in 2013 I will be happy. Honestly I have had ten years among the two or three best in the world ranking wise, so today it is not the top priority for me. Obviously I know that if I compete well the ranking will be positive, but my priority is to be competitive, try to be OK for all tournaments in which I will be competing," he stressed.

"Training is going well and my attitude is good, the last two weeks I practiced with a lot of intensity and I am at a high level. I am lucky that Pablo Carreño was with me in Mallorca last week and this week Richard Gasquet is here, so I am training with players of the highest level which helps me finding the right rhythm that I need", he added.

"But I have to go slowly because after all the time without being able to train and compete the body suffers during the rehabilitation stage, through the practice it takes to get back to the top-level in this sport. In the beginning you have small pains, which is normal and you work them out", he highlighted.

On January 2 he will compete in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, which will open his 2015 season.

The world number three said this at a promotional event for KIA, for which he is a spokesperson and which was also attended by the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias. "The calendar will mark the results", he explained, "but you have to do some basic planning." "You will notice that it is not a normal schedule as it has been in other years because I am adding more weeks on clay, something I only did in 2013 when I returned from my injury."

"I wanted to add them last year as well but because of my back injury I could only do one extra week in Rio. This year I intend to try and push hard early in the year and the fact that I will be competing on clay will help my recovery", he adds. "Hopefully I will be fully recovered for Australia, but if it is not so, which is always a possibility as I've been unable to train and compete for practically almost six month. As time is limited, I hope that the time I have will help bring back the good feelings on clay in Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires" he commented.

"The main goal is to compete in favorable conditions, conditions that are physically less aggressive, that is, on clay courts. I think from Australia to Roland Garros is a very important part of the year for me, I think it is the most important part and I will try to make an effort and be well prepared so that in that part of the year I will be well", he pointed out.

A serious and very reflective Nadal also remarked: "My biggest concern now is my level of tennis, the level of my rivals while I was away from competition, normal concerns at the beginning of a new season, the doubts and the fears are always there each year and a little more now because I did not compete for six months".

"That is a reality and you cannot hide from reality. The fears are there, the doubts are there and the only way I have been able to overcome them has always been with the work, effort and attitude necessary to win. Motivation and my level of tennis level remove the doubts. I have always had them and partly I think that they are good because they keep you alive and keep you alert, which means that you care very much about what you're doing", said Nadal.

(translated by Chris Boardman)

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